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The Supreme Court on Friday stayed an order of the Karnataka government issued two days ago that sought to restore cadre and pay scales of almost 40,000 SC/ST employees who were demoted in terms of a previous order of the court. The apex court said the state should maintain a status quo till the case is finally decided.

A plea was filed on Thursday in the Supreme Court seeking a stay of the Karnataka before a bench presided by Justice UU Lalit. The State Government had on Wednesday issued an order restoring the cadre and pay scale of thousands of SC/STs employees who were demoted following a February 2017 SC judgment that struck down reservation in promotions.

The order issued by the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms (DPAR) stated that no fresh demotions will be effected for employees from their current positions. However, the order is subject to the outcome of cases related to reservation in promotion before the Supreme Court.

The order had been issued to circumvent the SC judgment and protect the consequential seniority accorded to SC/ST employees. The SC judgment had resulted in demotions of over 37000 employees, promotions of 5000 and alternation in seniority of nearly 65000 employees.

—India Legal Bureau

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